Ex-Laker’s Contract Extension May Impact Celtics Star’s Contract Talks

Larry Nance Jr.

Getty Larry Nance Jr. #7 formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball.

An ongoing plot thread that has still not been resolved for the Boston Celtics is Grant Williams’ extension. After playing what many consider to be his breakout season for the Celtics, Williams was eligible for an extension this summer, but the Celtics have not come to an agreement yet on an extension.

As of now, not many details have been released regarding what Williams is looking for or what the Celtics are willing to pay him, but the contract extension Larry Nance Jr. agreed to with the New Orleans Pelicans could set the stage for what Williams should expect.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Nance agreed to a two-year, $21.6 million extension with the Pelicans, which will mean he’s signed on for three years while on track to make $31.3 million.

Nance, who has spent his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Pelicans, has career averages of 8.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three. Brian Robb of MassLive explained why his latest extension could impact Williams’ contract talks with the Celtics.

“Larry Nance Jr. has played a similar role to Grant Williams throughout his NBA career as an undersized power forward who can help stretch the floor,” Robb said. “Williams has a chance to prove himself worthy of a Nance Jr. deal or far more with a strong showing this year.”

Robb went on to explain why the contract extensions of Nance and Maxi Kleber of the Dallas Mavericks could set Williams’ price tag on an extension.

“Between Nance Jr. and Maxi Kleber reaching a similar payday with his extensions (three years $33 million) Williams appears to be in line for mid-level money with his next contract. He may have more upside than that duo thanks to his age but restricted free agency should depress his market next summer.”

Williams’ Role This Season

Robb brought up that the Celtics’ recent bad luck with injuries could lead to Williams’ role increasing this season.

“Grant Williams’ value to the Celtics has only gone up in recent weeks given the injuries to Rob Williams and Danilo Gallinari. That has made the fourth-year big man a candidate to start or at the very least a lock for 20-25 minutes per game as he expands on his role in the frontcourt.”

Robb brought up that the Celtics’ most recent addition might get in the way of that to some extent.

“The recent addition of Blake Griffin to the fold, a move that is expected to become official early next week could bring some added competition for Williams.”

Luke Kornet is also expected to miss one-to-two weeks with an ankle sprain, but with that timeframe, he should be ready for opening night.

Williams Opened Up About Extension Talks on Media Day

On September 26, Williams got candid about his thoughts on his extension talks while being interviewed by Marc D’Amico and Amanda Pflugrad on Media Day.

“My agents are in communication with the team. I’m letting them focus on that. My focus is on winning. I love Boston. If I get the extension, great. If I don’t, I move to the next day. My whole goal is to win the championship.”

President of Basketball of Operations Brad Stevens has given out extensions to multiple players since taking over for Danny Ainge in 2021: Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III. Time will tell if he’ll play the long game with Williams or if he’ll get this done sooner rather then later.

Read More